Copyright while studying and working at UWE Bristol

Acceptable reasons for copying

The Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 permit limited copying for the purposes of:

  • Non-commercial research or private study
  • Criticism and review
  • Reporting current events

Copying books and journals

Copying for non-commercial research or private study

Under ‘Fair Dealing’ UWE Bristol students and staff are permitted to make a single copy (photocopy or scan) of a 'reasonable' or 'fair' proportion of a copyrighted work for non-commercial research and private study. As 'reasonable' and 'fair' are not defined in law you must make your own judgment. However as a guide, this may be interpreted as one article from a single issue of a journal, or one chapter of a book.

Fair dealing requires that the amount copied is reasonable and appropriate to the context and that the copying does not adversely affect sales of the work.

Reproducing extracts in your own written work

In addition to copying for non-commercial research and private study, extracts from books and journals may be reproduced for the purposes of criticism and review, eg quotations made of passages of copyright works within articles, essays, or theses, provided acknowledgement is given. The law doesn’t define any limits on the size of an extract, so you must make your own judgment. However, 400 words is sometimes given as a guideline.

When copying any such source, works must not be treated in a derogatory way and acknowledgement is required. The Library has produced a guide to referencing that will explain how to do this.

Copying images

The copyright of images (for example, photographs, illustrations, graphs, and charts) can be complex. For instance, the copyright of a photograph in a text book or journal article may not belong to the publisher of that book or journal.

If you are copying text for non-commercial research or private study and this copying includes embedded images that are illustrative to the text, then this is fine. However, copying the image exclusively quickly becomes problematic because the nature of what is arguably ‘fair’ or ‘reasonable’ to reproduce is more difficult to establish in the case of a standalone artistic works like an image.

Copying of images should be done cautiously, especially those taken from the internet where the original rights holder may not have posted the work. You should be prepared to seek permission from the rights holder if you are not certain that the rights holder permits re-use of their image.

Due to this complexity, various websites contain images that are out of copyright or that have been permitted for use by the copyright holders. A number of these are available on the image resources section of this web site.

When using such resources it is important to note the relevant terms and conditions. They are usually clearly stated on entry to the individual resource and sometimes require a mouse click to acknowledge that they have been accepted.

Copying maps

The Library subscribes to the Digimap service. Ordnance Survey actively protect their intellectual property and copying is limited, so please note the terms and conditions that apply when accessing the resource. This resource is available to UWE Bristol staff and students only.

Copying Standards

The Library subscribes to British Standards Online. This contains the full text of UK standards. The British Standards Institution actively protect their intellectual property and copying is limited, so please note the terms and conditions that apply when accessing the resource. This resource is available to staff and students only.

Copying music

Printed music is not covered by any licences. However, the Music Publishers' Association publishes a Code of Fair Practice agreed between composers, publishers and users of printed music.

The code allows copying of music published by MPA members in several special circumstances, including:

  • for study and research (but not performance): short excerpts - but not a whole movement or a whole work - may be copied
  • in emergencies: where music is lost or damaged before a pre-arranged concert, copies may be made provided that replacements are bought subsequently, or that, if the music is hired, the copy is returned with the other hired copies
  • for performance difficulties: eg where a page-turn is awkward, a small amount may be copied

Please see the full text of the code for further details of these and other permissions.

In all other circumstances, permission to reproduce copyright printed music must be obtained from the rights owner.

Copying by non-UWE Bristol visitors to the library

Copying limits are the same as for UWE Bristol students and staff, as long as the copying is for non-commercial research, private study, criticism, review or reporting of current events. Otherwise, read the advice on copying for a commercial purpose

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